It is always difficult for us to see our dogs in pain! A very common form of pain is that from arthritis and joint issues. Sometimes arthritis and painful joint issues are caused by old age. Other causes may include conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia or spondylosis of the spine. There are many causes of joint pain. This month we will discuss a few of the things you can do to ease arthritic pain and inflammation that causes pain in your dog.
Please do not try to guess what is causing your dog pain! ALWAYS have your veterinarian perform a complete check up on your dog and get a diagnosis before starting any treatment plan. Inflammation, pain and lameness can mean many things and therefore, it is VERY IMPORTANT to have the right diagnosis so you can select the right treatment protocol!
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Diet is important in helping control inflammation and pain. For dogs, sugar and starches in the diet can increase swelling and tenderness. The best diet for dogs with arthritis, those recovering from surgery, or dogs that are active athletic dogs, are either a raw diet with no carbohydrates or a low glycemic (sugar) home cooked diet. Switching a dog from a commercial dog food or a home-prepared diet with grains and starches can make a world of difference in just a few weeks. In addition, feeding a raw diet or a low glycemic diet from puppyhood or early age can help prevent early arthritis problems. You can find more information on the benefits of a raw natural diet in my book, 'Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs'.
Adding supplements to your dog's diet is also very beneficial. There are supplements you can add to your dog's diet to reduce inflammation and help with pain. The supplements listed below are helpful in easing discomfort and reducing pain and swelling. These include:
Omega 3 fatty acids found in animal-based fats can help reduce inflammation and pain. Omega 3 Fish Oil also helps support the immune system, the liver, heart and kidneys, and skin and coat. Give one capsule (180 EPA/120 DHA) per 10-20 lbs of body weight daily.
Yucca Intensive is made from the juice of the yucca plant, which is only effective in the liquid form. Yucca is a precursor to saponins and acts as a natural non-steroidal. This is given at one drop per 10 pounds of body weight once or twice daily. This supplement MUST be given WITH food and should NOT be given with any of the prescription NSAIDs such as Rimadyl, Metacam or Deramaxx.
Herbspirin (use Willow Bark Liquid):
Herbspirin is a natural form of aspirin that is much easier on the stomach; however, it also needs to be given WITH food. It can also be given with the Yucca Intensive for severe arthritis and pain. Herbspirin should also, NEVER be given with prescription NSAIDs!
Flexile Plus is a blend of glucosamine and chondroitin, manganese, boswellia and bromelain. Glucosamine helps lubricate the joints and the chondroitin assists with healing damaged cartilage. The manganese acts as a mild muscle relaxant and the boswellia and bromelain are natural anti-inflammatories. These ingredients work together to alleviate arthritis pain. It is given at a loading dose the first 2 weeks, and then the amount can be reduced by one-third.
The ingredients included in the Berte’s Immune Blend include antioxidants, probiotics and digestive enzymes. The high amounts of vitamin C and E support joint health and the digestive aids help to fight inflammation and assist the immune system.
Selection of an alternative treatment is an individualized choice. Some choices I have seen that show effectiveness for arthritis and inflammation include the following:
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine:
This modality needs to be given by a veterinarian who is certified in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Combining acupuncture, which can treat pain, with the correct Chinese herbs can be very effective.
This technique has been proven invaluable to dogs who have suffered sports injuries and in dogs that may need chiropractic adjustments to alleviate pain.
Exercise is very beneficial; however, the exercise chosen should fit the ability of the dog. Exercise has been found to help joint mobility, keep dogs healthier and slow down the progression of arthritis. Exercise can include a variety of things from moderate daily walks to rehabilitation treatments done at clinics using swimming and other low resistance exercise. Exercise also keeps the dog mentally active as well, which helps and supports their overall well-being.
With help from a no-carbohydrate and no-sugar diet, supportive natural supplements that help combat pain and inflammation, and supportive alternative treatments and daily exercise, you can help play a large part in keeping your dog healthy and pain free! Always make sure to get regular veterinarian checkups to monitor your dog's health and to insure you have the right diagnosis so you can plan the best strategy for your dog's good health!
B-Natural's would like to wish
All the Mom's A Very Happy Mother's Day!